Fade to Black by Zoë Beck, translated by Rachel Hildebrandt (Weyward Sisters Publishing, forthcoming 2017)
It isn't often that you encounter a novel brave enough to take on difficult and current political and social issues head on. That's what makes Fade to Black stand out- here, Zoë Beck weaves the threat of terrorism, war, and conspiracy in modern-day London into a gripping narrative that doesn't let the reader take a breath until the very end. And thanks to a flawless translation by Rachel Hildebrandt, us English-language readers can jump right in, without even realizing that it was originally written in German.
From Weyward Sisters Press comes another powerful collection of stories, this time by German author Katja Bohnet. Gritty, hard-edged, and abrupt, these pieces explore the nooks and crannies of "noir," veering toward speculative fiction at times, careening toward horror at others.
The title story, along with "Asia, Mid-Flight" and "Indonesian Ping Pong," feature travelers encountering terrifying situations: getting stabbed in a cheap hostel, (imagining) getting sucked out of an airplane via the bathroom, dealing with shady characters on sparsely-populated islands. Bohnet's sentences are short and precise, like the stories themselves, taking us to the point without any fuss while leaving us lost in thought at each conclusion.